Hey, it happens to the best of us. Sure, we want to make a good impression, but we hate small talk so it gets awkward fast. Alas, here are 10 Killer Conversation Icebreakers to get - and keep - the conversation going.
1. What are you working on that you're passionate about?
2. I'm looking for a good non-fiction to read. What do you recommend?
3. Where would you like to retire? Why this place?
4. What is the most exciting thing you've ever done?
5. What is something you would like to learn to do?
6. What is the most unpleasant job you ever had to do?
7. If you could invite 3 people (living or dead) to your home for dinner, who would they be, and why?
8. What lesson did you have to learn the hard way?
9. Who has been the greatest influence in your life?
10. If your closest friend wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
I love these questions, because small talk turns into BIG talk, fast! What are your favorite conversation icebreakers? I'd LOVE to add them to my list!
Thirty minutes was all I had left with my client, “Mark.”
For the first twenty minutes of his training session, Mark had gone into detail about why he wasn’t happy, even though he should be. He talked at length about how he felt he was being undermined at work. He knew that he should be standing up for himself, and start showing his colleagues that he’s “got his act together.” He wanted to stand out in meetings, he also desperately wanted to fit in with the people he worked with. He looked at me, and continued to give more reasons why his life felt so incongruent with who he thought he was and could be.
I’ve been paid to help Mark through this, and I had twenty-five minutes left before his session was over.
I moved in close, standing nearly toe-to-toe, and peered deep into his eyes: “Is it possible, Mark, that there is a courageous, exciting, authentic, and confident man in there?”
Do you ever feel invisible sometimes? Like you’re overlooked or what you have to say doesn’t matter?
If you’re grudgingly nodding your head yes, you’ll get a lot out of this article.
First of all, no matter who you are or what business you’re in, there will always be people who are just not interested in hearing you out. It doesn’t matter how great your ideas are, you can’t make someone listen to you if they’re not interested.
Take heart, because more often than not, their disinterest is a reflection on them and their circumstances. It’s not a reflection on you.
With that said, let's take a look at how you communicate.
Because making small tweaks in the way you communicate can make a world of difference in making sure you are taken seriously.
This list isn’t exhaustive. Not even close.
But its enough to give your communication skills some traction the next time you need to be heard.
Number 1. Cut the jargon.
Its that time of year again when families and friends gather to exchange gifts and feast on food and wine. Here’s a take on an old, but favorite, Christmas song to help you navigate the parties ahead.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me….
12 Palms Uplifted – If you’re asking for help with decorations or even offering a drink, use a "palms up" gesture instead of a "palms down" gesture. You'll give an impression of being more open and inviting, and less like you're giving a command.
11 Introductions – If you want to be an awesome host, this is the best thing you should be saying all night: “Hey, have you met _____? I would love to introduce you!” The second best thing to be saying all night: “Can I get you more food/drink?” Connect as many people as possible and make sure they’re comfortable with food and drink. Your guests will feel at ease and cared for.
I'm working with a client to develop her digital brand into something that will capture the interest of her potential clients. One of the elements we worked on today was her Avatar, the photo(s) she uses on social media and on her coaching website.
Your avatar is your visual representation of your professional persona and your BEST authentic self. Your avatar should be interesting and not bland. It should represent your personality, but also demonstrate strength and warmth. Because strength demonstrates certainty, and people pay for certainty. And warmth gets people to like and trust you. So both need to be considered.
Rather than just posting a photo, put some thought into how you want others to perceive you. Because your avatar is often the first impression we have of you, and that first impression carries a lot of weight.
What images and colors come to mind when you think of quirky, confident, creative, smart,...
It doesn't matter how rich, handsome, athletic, smart, or beautiful you are, the one thing we ALL have in common is that sometimes our biggest fear is that we won't fit in - that we won't be liked, that we will be awkward, or that we will be rejected.
This fear creeps in when we me meet new people in any number of arenas:
-The first day of school is never easy.
-Fitting in with new co-workers can be equally intimidating.
-Networking events can make us feel isolated.
-And pitching a new product or service requires stepping out of our comfort zone on a daily basis.
Fitting in is different than standing out! And make no mistake, there are times when you're going to want to stand out - but not every situation calls for that. Sometimes, our only desire is to FIT IN.
I have three things you can do right now that will make fitting in easier the next time you enter any arena.
1. Have a warm and genuine smile at the...
Because of the anxiety a toast or speech creates, most often, we procrastinate and wait until the very last minute to throw something together. Or worse, we wing it!
To make the process easier, I’m giving you my Top 10 List of the Best Ways to Prepare for and Present a Wedding Toast
Don’t wait until the last minute. This seems like a no-brainer, but give yourself a couple weeks to work on it. Trust me, if you wait until the last minute, your anxiety will effectively hit the kill switch on any fun you’re having at the reception. On the other hand, if you prepare ahead, you’ll feel more confident at the mic.
Confidence = Sexy. Cheers.
Start jotting down things you remember about the bride and/or groom. Stories are powerful and can move an audience. Start thinking of stories that are funny,...
How you carry yourself is your SOURCE OF PERSONAL POWER!
If we have STRONG, CONFIDENT posture we will FEEL MORE CONFIDENT.
Because our physiology directly impacts our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.
If we are slumped or if we slouch, this can make us feel weak, less-than, and disempowered. Because slouching decreases the confidence-inducing testosterone in our system, and increases the stress hormone, cortisol.
When we use defeated body language, it can set off the negative inner dialogue - our inner critic, and this negative self-talk attacks our self-esteem and self-confidence.
BE AWARE OF HOW YOU CARRY YOURSELF. If you need to feel confident and demonstrate that confidence, keep your body language in check.
Because confidence equates to certainty. And people pay for certainty.
Stand tall, y'all!
Think about your character and legacy. Look out there, beyond your meetings, beyond your month's to-do's and all the things you have to do. Ask yourself this simple question, "How do I want those whom I love and serve to remember me?"
It's important to take a step back because when you're constantly juggling and feel depleted, because you're not thinking about the future. You're just trying to survive and get through today. You start to lose your clear intention for how you want to show up with your family and teams. Your executive presence suffers. The quality of your interactions suffers.
Can you relate?
Let me tell you, its not about having more time. Because we all know there's never enough of it.
It is about imagining your interactions with people, and asking yourself why they love and respect you. How would they describe their interactions with you? Make a list and then choose to demonstrate those qualities each...
Its not rare to hear them speak of "being called," destiny, legacy, drive, or a responsibility to others as primary motivators for why they perform at the levels they do.
They strive for their best, because they know their performance will affect their future and the futures of others.
Having a sense of duty to something beyond yourself is a strong driver in motivation and performance.
But not all days are easy. It’s scary to demand a lot of yourself.
Its unnerving to push the boundaries of your capabilities. To show your true courage. To show your true heart.
When things get difficult, remember your cause.
When fear rises and you battle hardship, remember your calling.
Raise your arms and dive into the deep end of your passions.
Tie your identity to doing good work.
Remember WHY your striving and your performance are so important.
Climb. Sustain positive performance. Make the impact you were called...